Thursday, December 1, 2016

JO UNDERGOING 2ND ROUND OF RFA FOR NECK PAIN

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 35 Sunny to Partly Cloudy High 62) 

The nice thing about the neurostimulator implant that Jo had for her back pain is that it is permanent. As the healing process went on the neurostimulator had to be adjusted and as time goes on periodic adjustments are needed. For her neck pain Jo had Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) in 2015 which cauterizes the nerves but is not permanent. Typically RFA results are good for about a year and she has been 18 months since the RFA on her left side. Jo says it feels like they are alternatively driving a stake and then a red hot poker as they cauterize the nerves. Here is a photo from the web showing the 4 leads that they use.


Jo had the RFA on her left side in November and will have one on her right side later this month.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 26, 2016

GOT A SLEEP NUMBER BED

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Nice with Variable Clouds High 75) 

We are on a quest to find the perfect bed. When we got the Cameo it was a very cheap mattress which we replaced fairly quickly with a Tempurpedic. This was not ideal since when it got cold it got fairly rigid making it difficult to change positions. We like to sleep in a cool environment so the quest continued.

When we got the Lifestyle it had a fairly highly rated Black Label mattress. This did not work for Jo's back so we thought a memory foam pad might work thinking since there was less memory foam than the Tempurpedic that it might work out but we had the same problems. So the quest continued.

We did some research and talked with friends and decided to get a Sleep Number king bed, the R5, specifically adapted for RVs. UPS delivered it yesterday and we began the setup. At first we were very confused. The air chambers had a sticker that said California King and the foam layer had a sticker that said Eastern King. Since these are three different sizes (King, California King and Eastern King) Bob called Sleep Number. Turns out they don't have labels specifically for the R5 so the labeling system kicks out the closest name to the size of the piece. Here is where it gets real strange. Although the label said California King for instance, the barcode was for the air chambers for the R5. Luckily they packed the correct barcoded items and we were good to go for setup.

Here is our new Sleep Number bed with the air chambers filling up for the first time.


After the air chambers filled up we added the foam layer and the cover and we were good to go.


Now what to do with the old mattress and pad until we can get them picked up for donation next week, very challenging in an RV. We did not want to put them outside since there is a threat of rain over the weekend. We placed the mattress in the main living area and leaned it up against the island. Wasn't too long and we had our first ascent to the top. Here is Sandra, queen of the world.


Sandra really enjoyed herself running back and forth, so much we were worried she might fall off.



JJ also had to get into the act.


We cannot wait until the truck comes next week. 

Our review after 1 night is fairly positive. We think we had less back pain and changing positions was a lot easier than with the old memory foam pad. It will take us awhile to get used to it though. One added bonus is that the Sleep Number R5 is lighter than the old mattress/pad combo. The lifters on the bed would not hold the mattress/pad combo up and Bob was contemplating buying better ones. The lifters work just fine on the new mattress.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 19, 2016

TOOLS TO AID IN SATELLITE RECEPTION

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 53 Mostly Sunny and Comfortable High 81) 

We have the best in TV watching, a roof mounted automatic satellite dish from Winegard for high definition DirecTV.  


Plus we have the Genie DVR that we can record 5 shows at once and a Genie client in the bedroom. The challenging part is making sure you have a good line of sight for the best reception. Calling the parks can be part of the challenge. Some parks have a good idea but others do not. We think it should be a requirement if answering the phones that you should at least visit the park once in awhile and know if a particular site has trees or not.

After a few close calls early on we started using Google Earth and that made it better. Traveling across the country can change where the dish is pointed so we needed something better. We are currently using satpointer.com showing here for our park in Goodyear Arizona. The green line shows the line of sight from dish to satellite.




You can switch from map to satellite and check for trees.




You can move the pointer to your actual RV site and zoom in.




Although the line of sight does show some trees we are high enough on the roof to still get a good signal.  If we are heading to a new park to us and we see a lot of trees we use Google Earth and then rotate the image to see the line of sight from the ground. This does not always work since the satellite image may be old and the trees may be taller. We therefore need an aid to help us once we get to the site. We got an app for our smartphone called "satfinder".

Using "satfinder" you can get a sky view and center the circle for the satellite on screen target.




That way you can see if there are trees in the way. In the bright sun this sometimes is hard to see so in these cases the app also has a compass mode using the smartphone getting the direction once the compass reading goes green.



As you can tell we like our television watching.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CATCHING UP - REVIEW OF AUNE-OSBORN CAMPGROUND IN SAULT STE MARIE MICHIGAN

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Sunny and not as Warm High 72) 

We still have a few blog entries from our travels this summer so we are catching up on a campground review of Aune-Osborn Campground in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. 

Location, Location, Location, this campground has this going for it. It is located right on the St. Mary's River which is border between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Canada.

Our GPS devices got us right to the park. The interior park roads are asphalt and easily navigable. The sites are a mixture of gravel and grass. There is a lot of spacing between sites. We had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish. While the electric hookup was convenient and 50amp instead of the 30amp as shown on the website map the rest of the hookups were a challenge. We shared a city water hookup with the site next to us so we need 50' of hose to get connected. As for a sewer hookup, there was none.

Here is the Lifestyle from the front with a view of the river


To the right


To the left


From the rear


Since we are on the river here is a couple of additional photos. The campsite to the right on the river towards the Soo Locks.


Campsite to the left away from the Soo Locks.


We would stay here again. We were able to survive an entire week without a sewer hookup, our longest ever, the location more than makes up for the slight inconvenience.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, November 14, 2016

2017 OBAMACARE UPDATE FOR BOB

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 52 Sunny and Very Warm High 86) 

On the way back from Sunday night Mass we saw the 'SuperMoon'. None of our cameras did a very good job.


That may have been super but what Bob is facing in 2017 is not super. 


He is facing a 62 percent increase plus there are no nationwide plans available, only HMO plans based in Texas. With that in mind we decided we needed to move from our usual winter place in Goodyear Arizona to Texas and establish doctors. We don't know exactly when we will be leaving but it will be mid January at the earliest after we complete all of our checkins with our doctors here. Then we will have to establish new doctors in Texas.

At least that was our plan until we got an email from the RVer Insurance Exchange telling all to not make insurance decisions until December. Apparently there are plans in work to change the 2017 insurance offerings since we have a new President-elect. We are a little skeptical since Inauguration Day is not until January 20th. The last day you can enroll is December 15th so we will probably make a decision around December 10th.


We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, November 11, 2016

THANK YOU VETERANS (WE ARE THE HOME OF THE FREE)

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Plenty of Sunshine High 82) 


We are the home of the free, because of the brave.

Both of our fathers served in WWII in the Navy. We have numerous relatives and friends that have served and we'd like to thank them all, and all that have served. We apologize that we haven't done it every day.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WE SAW "DOCTOR STRANGE"

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 53 Plenty of Sunshine High 82) 

We recently saw the recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 'Doctor Strange'.


Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Steven Strange, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon who gets injured in a car crash. Unable to perform surgeries anymore Doctor Strange starts looking for nontraditional therapies. He tries a mystic approach near Katmandu that leads him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He is told the Avengers protect against physical dangers and the group that he found protects against the mystical dangers. Of course you knew there had to be a mystical danger to be confronted in this movie :-)

A mystic master goes rogue and wants to connect with another universe in the mystical multi-verse. Doctor Strange leads the effort to stop him. The special effects were amazing, this is a great action movie. The extra material after the credits showed Dr. Strange being part of the future Avenger movies and a movie of his own. It is a great time to be a fan of comic book characters being made into movies, especially on the Marvel side. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

WE DIDN'T KNOW JJ HAD A TWIN SISTER

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Sunshine and Patchy Clouds High 91) 

Everybody knows JJ, here as an Olympic Judge


In his den


As a blogger


But what you did not know, and neither did we, that JJ had a twin sister. Bob is walking by the front door and about has a heart attack when he sees JJ on the steps looking in. At least JJ at first glance when he started opening the door and then he started having some doubts and started closing the door. Jo comes down the steps and says to "open the door for JJ, why are you closing it?". Only when we got a good look did we realize it was another cat and not JJ.



They sure do look alike don't they? Now we get worried about a friendly cat wandering around especially with coyotes in the area. We are sitting outside talking to a neighbor and he looks at our front door and sees JJ looking out and asks why his cat is indoors. Then he realizes it is JJ and not Ginger his cat. Still worried about a cat running loose but at least she has owners who feed her. They would like to keep her inside but she has figured out how to open the door and get out.

We have good news on Jo's ballot, they finally found the priority mail envelope and it arrived at the clerk's office yesterday afternoon. So now we know she voted too.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 5, 2016

VOTING THIS YEAR WAS CHALLENGING THEN INTERESTING THEN VERY INTERESTING

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Mostly Sunny High 84) 

We have voted absentee before and Bob thought he allowed enough time to get the ballot requests mailed to us. You always have to factor in the mail has to get to Texas. It looks like the ballot requests got there the day after our mail was sent. Then it was another two weeks before the mail was sent out.

Once received the ballot requests have to be mailed back and then wait for the actual ballots to get delivered to Texas. Escapees then sends them to us. Because we were late getting the requests in we had Escapees express the ballots to us.

Then it went from challenging to interesting. Jo's envelope had the ballot but Bob's did not. So Jo filled out her ballot and we mailed it back with tracking. Bob called the county clerk and a new ballot was FedExed which arrived the next day with a FedEx overnight envelope. Bob voted and dropped it off with a FedEx truck he saw  in a parking lot.

Now it becomes very interesting. Both ballots via USPS (Jo) and FedEx (Bob) were supposed to arrive by 12p yesterday. Bob's got there but Jo's is still 'In Transit to Destination'. Probably a metaphor about this election :-)

We are hoping that Jo's ballot gets there by 7p Tuesday so it can be counted. But at least we can tentatively say that we voted.


Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 31, 2016

HALLOWEEN AT DESTINY RV RESORT IN GOODYEAR ARIZONA

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 62 Partly Sunny High 86) 

Richard Brown, this one is for you :-)

Happy Halloween!

Although we were at this park in 2015 we don't remember the extent of the Halloween decorating going on that we see this year. It starts with the new stuff put in by the new owners.



It continues throughout the park as a lot of folks have the Halloween spirit. 






This is neat to look at but we hope it doesn't mean we'll have a lot of kids expecting free stuff just because they dressed up :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, October 29, 2016

UPDATE ON SLIDEOUT REPAIR

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 65 Sunny and Very Warm High 93) 

When the mobile service tech in Albuquerque diagnosed the slideout problem he was afraid that there was something structurally wrong that would require ordering parts. Because of that he was unwilling to work on it in the field. Our timing was also bad since the Balloon Fiesta had just ended and all the dealers and repair places in Albuquerque were booked and the earliest we could get it looked at was late October or early November. That was when we decided to forego most of our fall plans and head to Goodyear. We called ahead for an appointment the day after we arrived.

On the heaviest slide that we have, the kitchen slide, the operation is that the top of the slide hits first. As the bottom is pushed in it lifts the slide inside the coach off of the floor. There is a piece of trim screwed to each side of the main box of the slide with a bracket that must remain stationary for this to work.

Steve from KISS RV came out and did a thorough job of troubleshooting the problem. At first he also thought it was structural, probably a busted weld. He checked the rollers and they were OK. He then checked the assembly underneath and no busted welds. Once he got to the bracket he found multiple problems. Lifestyle RV used screws that were too short, some screws were broken off and some were missing and there could have been more. Plus the locking set screw to stop the slideout was not locked. Over time the screws gave way and bent the trim back at the top while bottom of the slide wasn't flush. Luckily this problem was caught and fixed before we damaged the floor.

Steve started the repair but ran out of the longer screws so he had to come back yesterday for a second visit. We wish that we had taken photos to show the difference but suffice to say it is much better now. Here is the side of the slide showing the trim and bracket.


Here is the slideout fully extended.



Thanks to KISS RV and Steve we got this fixed without having to take the RV into the shop. Plus it was much cheaper than we were worried it would be. Finally, it was done before we would have been able to take it into the dealer in Albuquerque. Needless to say we are very glad that we came to Goodyear to get our slideout repaired. If you are ever in the Phoenix area and need service we highly recommend KISS RV.

We cannot believe how hot it has been, the BWE (Baskerville Weather Effect) is in full effect with temperatures 10 degrees above normal. In fact this is one of the hottest Octobers on record. We are in the midst of 25 days in a row 90 degrees or hotter. The day before yesterday was 100 which also set a record for the latest 100 day in the year, BWE rears it head again. Even though it is hotter than normal we are happy to be at our winter digs, especially with the worry of the slideout behind us.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WE SAW "JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK"

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 68 Mostly Sunny and Hot High 95) 

With temperatures in the mid 90s we had a flashback to when we were desert rats and spent the summer here and that was not a pleasant thought. With temperatures that high we felt it was a good time to checkout the new Harkins Theater near us. Here is a picture taken from McDowell Road on the way to the Estrella Falls Harkins Theater.


We dusted off our popcorn shirts and cleaned our commemorative refill cups and saw "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back".


We've said this before that at first we questioned the casting of Tom Cruise (5'6") playing Jack Reacher (6'5"). He is such a great actor you quickly forget about the size difference. Based on the Lee Child "Never Go Back" book this movie is action packed, well written and well directed. Casting Cobie Smulders from the Marvel movies as Major Turner was brilliant. Lee Child had a Stan Lee like cameo. It is a great movie.

We also liked the new theater and will be attending many more movies during our stay.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 24, 2016

LIKE VISITING A NEW PARK

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 66 Some Sun Then Clouds High 92) 

We have been coming to Destiny Phoenix West in Goodyear Arizona since our first visit in February 2010.


Truth be told it was getting a little rundown over the years and it needed some sprucing up. Enter the new owners who purchased earlier this year. They finished the paving project that was started by the previous owners including a lot of the sites that were not occupied, but they did not stop there. They added a pickleball court.


Exercise equipment


A putting green


They spruced up the office/convenience store area and added new flags and items throughout the park. Seems like we are visiting a brand new park, one that we like a lot.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 21, 2016

ARIZONA 303 LOOP

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 69 Sunny High 96) 

On the way to our park this trip we took the Arizona 303 Loop from I-17 to I-10. They have been working on the 303 Loop for a long time. The last time we drove it there was a few spots that weren't done. This trip it is all done, started out as a 2 lane road near I-17 and then a three lane road. Here is a photo closer to I-17.


Here is a map showing the 303 and the rest of the major roads in the greater Phoenix area.


As mentioned before they have been working on it for a long time and are still working on it. Don't know if they have plans for it but a ramp is needed at the I-17 intersection, right now it is a stoplight. At I-10 they are working at that intersection. Here is a photo showing the work as we approached I-10.


The long range plan is to extend the 303 Loop south then loop east and intersect with I-17 again. To do that they not only need to get the I-10 intersection but also the main east west road we use to get to the park, Van Buren. Here is the working being done diverting Van Buren for the time being around an overpass.


Progress is like everything else in life, a trade off. We liked the convenience and much lesser traffic of the 303 Loop on our drive here. But we know we are not going to like the increased traffic and building up of the area now that the 303 Loop is moving along. 

For those coming to Destiny this winter the 303 Loop is an excellent choice.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO GOODYEAR ARIZONA

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Plenty of Sun High 92) 

We left Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow Arizona yesterday and headed to Goodyear Arizona. Our destination was Destiny Phoenix West RV Resort.


It was approximately 195 miles, a fairly long day for us but we wanted to get to Goodyear to get the slideout repaired. This is the route we took.



It is always great when coming back to the valley to see your first saguaro at about 3000 feet elevation.


We had heard so much about the new owners and the upgrades they made so we are interested to see the 'new' park. We'll report on that later.

KISS RV mobile service is coming this morning to assess what repairs are needed and whether they can be done here or in their shop. If parts are needed they will be ordered and available so if we have to go to the shop it can be a 1 day turnaround. This is great for us as we would have to get a pet friendly hotel. If we stayed in the Albuquerque area we couldn't even get an appointment at a repair shop until November. Plus we know it would have been a multiple day, maybe a multiple week event, with us in a hotel.

We have moved some of our medical appointments up since we are arriving earlier than planned and we have a couple of those tomorrow.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo